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How the New York Giants Draft by Position Value Since 2004: Rounds 1-4

February 29th, 2012 at 5:12 PM
By Dan Benton

A lot is made of New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese and his NFL Draft philosophy. Since he took over as GM in 2007, the common theme is "take the best player available." But going back to the 2004 NFL Draft when Big Blue traded for franchise quarterback Eli Manning, has the team really acted on that current philosophy or did Ernie Accorsi see things differently? Moreover, is that really the philosophy they follow now?

Rounds one through four of the NFL Draft are widely considered "impact rounds," so the best way to get a feel for where the Giants stand and what they value most is by looking at how they draft for value in those rounds. To do that, of course, you need to have an understanding of the NFL Draft value chart.

Below is a compilation of data based on the NFL Draft value chart and the Giants' selections over the first four rounds between 2004 and 2011.

PositionPicksValueAvg. ValueAvg. Sel. #Avg. Round
QB13000300011
CB42471618361
WR61950325652
DE31860620402
DT41053263763
LB6853142994
S2810405542
G1560560342
T34031341023
RB2117591204
TE11001001003

Although Eli Manning wasn't drafted #1 overall by the Giants, his value selection by the San Diego Chargers was 3,000 which is where he falls in the above chart. If, however, you were to tally the value of the picks traded for him (including Phillip Rivers), the value would then be as follows:

  • Phillip Rivers (4th overall) – 1,800
  • 2004 3rd Round Pick – 265
  • 2005 1st Round Pick – 1,200
  • 2005 5th Round Pick – 34
  • TOTAL: 3,299

Here is a look at the above information in a pie chart (keep in mind, percentages are rounded off):

What stands out most is that 71% of the value of all draft picks over the first four rounds since 2004 have been at four positions: Quarterback (the franchise QB), cornerback, defensive end and wide receiver.

What can be taken from that is simple: the Giants' strengths are most certainly built during the first four rounds of the NFL Draft. QB and WR result in the highly dangerous Big Blue passing attack, while DE and CB result in the equally as dangerous defensive pass rush.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, besides the quarterback (which, again, was the franchise QB with the highest value), the greatest value has been placed at the cornerback position, with four selections all averaging a first-round pick – Prince Amukamra slipped to the Giants in the first-round during the 2011 NFL Draft and was considered the "best player available."

Note: The average value at cornerback is a first-round pick, but not all CBs were drafted in the first round (Terrell Thomas, 2nd round and Corey Webster, 2nd round).

Looking beyond the top 71% value, the Giants have continued to focus much of their attention on the defensive line, but of the interior variety with 8%. There are four selections there that average a third-round pick, and whom also directly contribute to the success of the pass rush.

Going into the 2012 NFL Draft, the Giants' primary cause for concern is at the tight end position. As you can see by the numbers above, less than 1% of their overall value has been spent on tight ends, with their only selection being Travis Beckum (3rd round, 100th overall) in 2009. Beckum will likely begin the 2012 season on the Physically Unable Perform (PUP) List with a torn ACL.

A total of 7% of their overall value has been spent on the offensive line, with no value at the center position. Three of the four players drafted remain with the team, two of whom (Will Beatty and Chris Snee) are starters.

Based on all of these numbers, it seems like the Giants draft for pass rush and pass offense as opposed to "best player available." Then again, one could make the argument that it's merely a coincidence and the best player(s) available since 2004 have primarily been those that strengthen both the aerial attack and pass rush (see: Mathias Kiwanuka, Prince Amukamara and Hakeem Nicks as primary examples).

Whatever case may be, there does appear to be a method to the madness.

Also…

Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, Mathias Kiwanuka, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Prince Amukamara, Travis Beckum

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31 Responses to “How the New York Giants Draft by Position Value Since 2004: Rounds 1-4”

  1. Abbott Stillmanfanfor55years says:

    Dan, one of the best articles EVER.

    It proves what some of us have instinctively been saying, that the Giants philosophy has become to create a great passing game, to rush the passer, and to try to create defensive turnovers. Those are the things I’ve been emphasizing are the team’s strengths that got them where they are in today’s NFL, and those are areas that I have suggested will still be a focus in April. I had earlier said that while I do not know WHO they will pick, I expect them to go after a pass-rusher, a corner (who ideally can also return punts) and a wide receiver who can spread the field among their first 3-4 picks.

    But your analysis is hard evidence, which is far better than instinctive speculation. Great job.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Thank you.

      I honestly had no idea what I was going to find when I dove into this article, but wasn’t overly surprised by the data. The Giants like to hang onto that “best player available” mantra, but what they value is quite evident.

      This also shows a pretty significant trend that will disappoint those who insist on a 1st or 2nd round OL or TE. Sure, the Giants may draft one or both, but it won’t be until round 3 or 4. Possibly even 4 or after if this (these) trends hold true.

  2.  jfunk says:

    Part of the problem is that people associate “best player available” with Mel Kiper’s (or other intar-webz source) draft board.

    The Giants’ draft board is not Mel Kipers. ALL teams’ draft boards are made using a weighted system. If the best human specimen on the planet is in the draft and he happens to play TE, he’s not likely to be the “best player available” because he plays a position with inherently less value.

    I DO believe the Giants select the BPA most of the time. Their team weighting of DE, CB, and WR just happens to bump players at those positions up 5-10 spots on their board vs. players at other positions. Prince Amukamara, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Jason Pierre Paul were not players that “conveniently” met need while being BPA. They were only BPA because the Giants weight their positions higher than those of some of the other players available at the time.

    If Jonathan Ogden was available when the Giants picked last year, Prince Amukamara would not be on the team right now.

    • Chad EldredChad says:

      That is what I have been contending as well. I think when BPA is brought up some people conjure up the workout warrior image. BPA is a grade depndent upon what weighted formula is used to determine BPA. This ongoing debate is mostly semantics originating from differing understanding of the term BPA.

  3.  Brian Ginna says:

    “Dan, one of the best articles EVER.”

    I second that. Been following Dan for years (6, 7 ?) and rarely comment.

    Excellent analysis.

  4.  AdamGGMen says:

    This confirms, with pretty hard evidence, that Jerry Reese hates drafting TE’s.

  5. Matthew Kiernankujo says:

    I think the article sucks, but that’s only because it proves Demo right–I will very likely NEVER get to see the Giants draft a center in the top 2 rounds, no matter how much I want it!

    Great job making my day suck, Dan.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Any time, Brother. Haha

    •  demo3356 says:

      Maybe now you will listen to Me more and argue with me less… This is what I’ve been saying for years:-)

      •  HopLax08 says:

        Demo – I was going to make that point yesterday because he deserved it, given all s’hit he has given you in the past over this issue. But I employed the “don’t kick dog when he is down” philosophy. But I did make the point today (see below), subtly though, even though I was really directing it at Kujo, BigBlueGiant and others.

        “And most important (to me at least) is that your article should have a huge positive un-intended consequence……….in that it will (hopefully) diminish posts and discourage posters that tirelessly rant and push for the Giants to draft a position that your analysis clearly demonstrates that the Giants don’t value (via the draft), most notably TEs, centers, RBs.”

  6.  Mike Force says:

    Benton: How much does the Shockey pick in 03 throw off your calculations? Slightly disingenuous, no?

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Shockey was drafted in 2002.

      And the purpose of my article was to calculate the draft value following the acquisition of the franchise QB.

      • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

        The 2003 draft was a bit more of the same:

        DT William Joseph – Round 1
        DE Osi Umenyiora – Round 2
        TE Vishante Shiancoe – Round 3 (would change the % slightly)
        CB Roderick Babers – Round 4

        • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

          This would up the TE value (overall) to 236 and push them above RBs slightly. The average value would increase to 118 and the average round would remain at round 3.

  7. I have a mock draft for the Giants coming up and, prior to reading this, it more or less reflected a combination of this year’s values and what Dan put together here.

  8.  The Original G Man says:

    Samar:

    Very sorry to read your news, bro. Good luck with everything!

  9.  The Original G Man says:

    Dan:

    Epic. I’m bookmarking this one.

  10. Abbott Stillmanfanfor55years says:

    kujo, they’ll NEVER draft a center early when they have a long history of finding UDFAs and other teams’ castoffs to fill that position. In fact, I believe I saw an article a few years ago that indicated that center and safety were the two positions in the NFL that were most likely to be filled by players drafted very late or not at all. I was with you all the way in regard to their HAVING to upgrade the center position, but I never was confident they would draft an elite college center early because thet’s just not the Giants’ way.

    In fact, except for filling the left tackle position (one that almost always HAS to be drafted high because it requires a special athlete and all NFL teams will reach to get one because most college tackles cannot play the blind side because their footwork and quickness isn’t good enough), the Giants seem content to grab guys with good potential, turn them over to Flaherty and the veterans on the line, and wait for them to become part of the complicated dance that is required of the five guys who can make or break the offense. Right now they brought in Baas from another team, took Brewer based on size and great feet, and took Petrus based on aggression, strength and enthusiasm. They are, no doubt, hoping that the investment in the two youngsters pays off in 2012-2013 and that Baas plays well when healthy. Of course Beatty WAS picked early, and the payoff date for him will be expected to be this season.

    They almost certainly WILL grab another O-lineman in the draft. They almost certainly will NOT take that player early. And I would not be surprised to see Reese go after a veteran in free agency who can be a good depth player for them. Guys like Cordle, Andrews, Boothe, Meredith, Petrus, and even Diehl, will have to win their spots in camp. Any one of them could be gone by September.

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